April 24, 2007

Adventist News

Donor Gives AU an $8.5 Million Gift

capAndrews University president Niels-Erik Andreasen announced April 12 that an Adventist donor had given the university the largest gift it had ever received from a private individual, a gift that rings in at the grand total of $8.5 million.

The donor’s name is not being released at this time.

Andrews University president Niels-Erik Andreasen addresses the media at a press conference to answer questions about the $8.5 million gift. [Photo:Sarah Lee]

“This gift will help you transform the university and get it on the road to a ‘new Andrews for a new century,’” the donor said in conversation with David A. Faehner, vice president for university advancement. “God has been so good to me; how can I not be generous in return?”

As the donor requested, the money has been allotted to several specific campus projects, including the construction of a new entrance; two endowed department chairs: one for the Marketing Department in the School of Business Administration and the second in the Adventist Theological Seminary’s Christian Ministry Department; and support for the educational program of the Aeronautics Department.
The largest portion of the gift is designated for the refurbishment of the top floor of the university’s Campus Center. Built in 1962, the Campus Center is home to the cafeteria, Student Life, International Student Services, Campus Ministries, and the Student Association Offices, and serves as the general campus meeting place for students.
Andrews University is located in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
CALIFORNIA: “Genesis” Group Targets Community
Small-group ministry plays a key role in the young adult “Genesis” group, recently organized in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
Nearly a dozen people regularly attend a Monday-night small-group meeting—about a third of them visitors.
“A second small group meets on Tuesdays,” says church planter and Genesis pastor Iki Taimi. “It was started by a couple of guys who attend Genesis and have since made their meetings just for guys.
“ Attendance averages about nine people; only three of us are Adventists,” he adds. “This group has been successful in bringing the visitors to church, and personal invitations have been a great tool.”  
Genesis has been involved in at least three different outreach programs and hosts social nights once or twice monthly. A “Snowboarding Night Out” drew 40 people.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY: Genesis members volunteer to help at a local food bank. [Photo: Southern California Conference]

“In my opinion, the best thing about Genesis is that there is a place for everyone here; we are more of a family,” says Yoshi Abe, who has attended since the group began.

An Adventist coworker invited Eva Castillo to the group. “I was searching for a church,” says Castillo. “The first time I came to Genesis, I felt like this was the place I wanted to attend. Pastor Iki’s preaching is easy to understand, which really helps when you don’t know much about the Bible. The group makes me feel welcome. I have been very blessed.”
On Sabbaths, an average of 60 to 80 people attend services, held in the gymnasium of South Bay Junior Academy in Torrance.
“The church face has slowly evolved from a high majority of Adventists to a mix of different faiths,” Taimi notes. “The majority are Adventist, but now we are seeing former Adventists or individuals who were thinking of leaving Adventism, as well as nondenominational and some Catholic individuals.”
He adds, “We have a strategic plan that will target the community. We will adopt a block for a month, and at the end of every month we are committed to hosting a barbecue.”
                                                        —Southern California Conference Communication Department/AR